Better chinook return won't be reflected in quotas

fishing: All 3 options result in fewer fish

March 12, 2011 

Recreational anglers fishing along the coast can expect lower catch quotas for chinook salmon this year even though the total number of fish expected to return is higher.

The Pacific Fishery Management Council on Wednesday opted for three ocean salmon-fishing options establishing a lower harvest range for chinook to protect weak salmon stocks, particularly those returning to the lower Columbia River.

The recreational fishing options are:

Option 1: 52,000 chinook and 79,800 coho

Option 2: 42,000 chinook and 67,200 coho

Option 3: 32,000 chinook and 54,600 coho

The council last year adopted recreational ocean fishing quotas of 61,000 chinook and 67,200 coho salmon.

The final decision will be made in April.

For more details on the options, go to blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure.

RIVERS

Columbia: Fishing is still on the slow side, but anglers are catching some spring chinook. Mike Chamberlain at Ted’s Sports Center said anglers are having luck with a chartreuse Fish Flash and plug-cut herring combination trolling downstream.

Lewis: Anglers are reporting catching some steelhead and a few springers. The steelhead are being caught in the East Fork.

Olympic Coast: All the rivers are fishable. The Sol Duc is very clear, so use bobber and jigs or plugs, said Mike Zavadlov of Mike Z’s Guide Service. The Hoh is in good shape. If the area gets some rain, he recommended fishing the upper river above U.S. 101.

Satsop: The river is low and clear, but fishing has been fair most of the time. Using a float and jig is the best setup right now.

Wynoochee: There is a mix of wild and hatchery fish throughout the river. The largest are being caught from the 7400 line down to the mouth, said Phil Stephens of Mystical Legends Guide Service. While the action isn’t red-hot, it has been decent, he added.

Yakima: The river should be OK this weekend after rising suddenly during the week. It’s still a nymphing game, with stonefly and skwala patterns, although some skwala dry flies are hooking trout, said a report from Red’s Fly Shop.

SALT WATER

Fly-fishing: The action has been fair at best, said Anil Srivastava at Puget Sound Fly Co. Fishing early in the morning or on the tide changes, might produce some luck.

Hood Canal: Based on creel checks by the state at Misery Point, the north end has been producing some fair salmon catches.

North Sound: There are reports of some salmon weighing up to 20 pounds being caught in the Tide Point area. The action around Whidbey Island has been slow this week.

Tacoma: Wind has been a major problem for anglers much of the week. Tom Pollack of Sportco said he has heard of just a few anglers bringing in salmon. He said the wind has made it hard to find concentrations of bait fish.

LAKES

Cady: The action has picked up with the increase in temperature. Anglers are consistently catching trout on black, olive or wine-colored leeches.

Eastside: Burke and Quincy lakes in the Quincy Wildlife Area are producing catches of trout ranging from 10-21 inches for shore anglers. Martha Lake also has been fishing fairly well. Potholes Reservoir in Grant County has provided some good walleye fishing. Anglers blade-baiting in 20-30 feet of water are taking fish ranging from 16-24 inches. Water temperature is around 37 degrees.

Rufus Woods: Try using slip weights and PowerBait bounced along the bottom in 20-25 feet of water while drifting with the current. Shore anglers are catching a fair number of 2- to 3-pound fish at the net pens.

Jeffrey P. Mayor: 253-597-8640 jeff.mayor@thenewstribune.com blog.thenewstribune.com/adventure

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